Wednesday, April 17, 2024
PLMTech News

Power of Agile PLM | Revolutionizing Your Product Development

Product development is all about going ahead – forward and upwards. If that’s not the case, you’re not doing something right. Product lifecycle management (PLM) ensures that your product development is moving in the right direction. How does it do that? It makes sure your product continues meeting the changing customer needs and remains competitive in a dynamic environment. However, if you complement product lifecycle management services with agile principles and methodologies, you’ll be able to reap the maximum benefits.  

Agile practices use an incremental and flexible approach to product development and management. Its flexible nature enables developers to make the necessary product changes based on customer feedback, evolving market conditions, and insights from the product lifecycle development process itself. All this leads to one result: a product built with the right functionalities with minimal risks of market failure. 

This article explains the benefits of employing agile practices in PLM, highlighting how agile PLM can streamline and optimize your product development strategy. 

What is a Product Lifecycle?

Taking a lifecycle approach to products helps put the different stages of product development and management in perspective. It also serves as the foundation that guides the product’s positioning, marketing, pricing, and overall strategy.  

The product lifecycle consists of several distinct stages, each representing a phase in the life of a product from its inception to its eventual decline. These stages are crucial for businesses to understand to effectively manage and market their products. The typical stages of a product lifecycle are: 

1. Ideation and Development 

This stage involves the generation of product ideas and the development of a conceptual framework for the new product. Companies explore potential market needs, conduct market research, and brainstorm innovative ideas. Once you establish a viable concept, you can move on to the digital product development phase. 

2. Launch 

Once you have developed the product, you can move to the launch stage. This is the initial stage where a new product is launched into the market. Sales are typically low during this phase as consumers become aware of the product. Companies often invest heavily in marketing and promotion to create awareness and establish a market presence during the launch phase.  

Moreover, the launch phase may be preceded by a prototyping phase where a basic version of the product is shared with a select few people, and improvements are made based on their feedback. 

3. Growth 

In the growth stage, the product gains acceptance, and sales begin to increase rapidly. Marketing efforts focus on expanding the product’s market share, and companies may introduce product variations or improvements to capitalize on the growing demand. Profits start to rise, and competition may intensify. 

4. Maturity 

During the maturity stage, the product reaches its peak in terms of market penetration and sales. At this stage, competition is usually intense, and companies focus on maintaining their market share. Price competition may become more prominent, and marketing strategies shift to emphasize product differentiation, customer loyalty, and cost efficiency. 

5. Saturation 

Saturation occurs when the market is nearly saturated with the product, and growth in sales begins to slow down. Companies may still find opportunities for incremental growth through market segmentation or product diversification, but the overall market becomes more stable. 

6. Decline 

In the decline stage, the demand for the product decreases. This decline can be attributed to changing consumer preferences, technological advancements, or the introduction of newer products. Companies may decide to discontinue the product, reduce marketing efforts, or explore ways to extend the product’s life through revitalization strategies. 

7. Discontinuation/Retirement or Revitalization 

Depending on the situation, a company may choose to discontinue and retire the product if it is no longer viable in the market. Alternatively, they may opt for revitalization strategies such as product redesign, rebranding, or entering new markets to extend the product’s life cycle. 

As you can see, all these stages are critical in the success or failure of products. Each stage requires proper understanding and hard work to make it work. Therefore, effectively managing each stage of the product lifecycle is crucial for businesses to make informed decisions regarding resource allocation, marketing strategies, and overall product development.  

Successful product lifecycle management enables companies to maximize profits, adapt to changing market conditions, and maintain a competitive edge. But what happens when you opt for an Oracle Agile PLM approach? 

Let’s discuss. 

What is Agile PLM?

Agile PLM is the practice of employing agile principles in product development and management. Software development companies often use this approach to develop high software quality assurance in shorter timeframes. 

The hallmark of the agile approach is that it breaks down a development project into smaller tasks called iterations. Your development team creates a software version during each iteration, which is then sent to other stakeholders, who review it and give their feedback.  

The next iteration incorporates the feedback from the previous iteration, creating a feedback loop that lasts until the product is finally launched. It also enables developers to make changes to the software in each iteration as opposed to creating the whole software and then making changes to it – that is an outdated and inefficient development process. 

Most traditional development approaches, like the Waterfall method, use this kind of linear development model whereby stakeholder feedback is not sought until the very end of the development phase. Naturally, this process is inflexible and inefficient as you cannot make changes during the development phase. Hence, companies choose to go with the agile PLM approach. 

Benefits of Using Agile PLM

Here’s why IT and non-IT companies prefer using comprehensive agile PLM solutions in developing their products. 

1. Increased Flexibility 

Agile PLM allows for iterative and incremental development, providing flexibility to adapt to changing requirements and market conditions. Teams can respond promptly to customer feedback or evolving business needs, leading to a more responsive and dynamic development process. 

2. Enhanced Collaboration  

Agile methodologies emphasize cross-functional collaboration among team members, stakeholders, and even customers. This collaborative approach fosters better communication, knowledge sharing, and a shared understanding of project goals, leading to improved decision-making and a more cohesive team. 

3. Faster Time-to-Market 

Another amazing benefit of the product lifecycle is you can upgrade your PLM to the latest version quickly. The agile product lifecycle management approach to PLM is that it facilitates quicker delivery of product increments through short development cycles known as sprints. By breaking down the product into smaller, manageable components, teams can release functional increments faster, reducing time-to-market and enabling organizations to respond rapidly to market demands. 

4. Continuous Customer Engagement 

No product can reach the height of success if it doesn’t place customer engagement left, right, and center of its focus. Agile PLM encourages continuous customer involvement throughout the development process. Regular feedback from customers during sprint reviews helps in refining and prioritizing features. This feedback loop ensures that the final product aligns closely with customer expectations and needs. 

5. Improved Risk Management 

Since it uses an iterative approach, agile PLM allows teams to identify and address risks early in development. Regular reviews and retrospectives enable the team to adapt and mitigate potential issues, resulting in more proactive data security management. 

6. Better Adaptation to Change 

Agile PLM embraces change as a natural part of the development process. Teams can easily accommodate changing requirements, market conditions, or business priorities, ensuring that the final product remains aligned with the evolving needs of the organization and its stakeholders. 

7. Optimized Resource Utilization 

Another incredible business benefit of opting for agile PLM is that it enables you to optimize resource allocation by focusing on high-priority features and tasks. The iterative nature of agile allows teams to reprioritize work based on evolving needs, ensuring that resources are dedicated to the most valuable aspects of the product. 

Conclusion

Adopting Agile principles in PLM not only supports efficient product development but also fosters a culture of continuous improvement, collaboration, and customer-centricity. These benefits contribute to delivering high-quality products that meet customer expectations and achieve business objectives. 

Are you looking to use agile PLM services for product development? Xavor is a leading agile PLM services provider, serving large-scale manufacturing firms from diverse industries, such as automotive, entertainment, healthcare, and many others.  

Send us a message today at [email protected] to explore how Xavor can help revolutionize your product development process! 



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